Fianna Fáil TD for Louth and East Meath Declan Breathnach has expressed a cautious welcome to the use of drones to detect fly tipping and illegal dumping. Minister Naughten is due to launch a new drone initiative in Ballinasloe on Monday.
“A funding amount of €2 million has already been set aside for the recruitment of extra enforcement officers at the Environmental Protection Agency. The drone project being launched will be funded separately under the Environment Fund.”
“There will be a minimum of €650,000 initially allocated to community groups and state agencies who will work in partnership to deter illegal dumping. I will encourage Louth County Council to come on board with this new technology.”
“Anything that can help to cut down on illegal dumping in our beautiful county is welcome, illegal dumps such as the one uncovered in October close to the River Fane must be stamped out.”
“However, we must be mindful of the data protection and privacy issues surrounding this type of technology. Dublin City Council ran afoul of the data protection laws in 2015 regrading CCTV footage of illegal dumping. It is vital we get this right from the start.”
“The proper training and procedures must be in place for staff who will use these drones. I would also be concerned that the correct legal frame work is in place, I know that drone insurance is currently an issue with private owners, but In this case I would assume the councils public liability insurance will come into play. I will be following this up with the Minister”
“I welcome the spirt of the idea; it would greatly aid our councils and enforcement agencies, but this must be balanced with privacy for our citizens.”
“The government must get this right first time; we cannot have a piece meal approach to this new technology.”